Chicago-based Bellator Fighting Championships recently announced the signing of lightweight competitor Ferrid "The Hurricane" Kheder, an Olympic-level judoka who began competing in MMA in 2006. Boasting an impressive 16-5 record, with all losses coming by way of decision, this French-born fighter is looking to make a splash in the 155 pound tournament set to being April 8. MMASpot's Joe Gullo recently sat down with Kheder to talk about his judo background, his transition to MMA and his thoughts on his new promotion.
Kheder's training led him to develop a devastating low kick that consistently knocks his opponents off their feet. "I learned that from a Muay Thai fighter in Australia. Nobody does a low kick like that. in 80 percent of my fights I can take down the guy with my low kick. It's very efficient and the result of a lot of work on my feet."
Since coming to MMA, Kheder has only lost five times, all of which were by decision, and has finished 13 of his 16 victories. "I want to finish the fight. Going to a decision doesn't make any sense in MMA. If you are going to fight, you have to finish the fight. Right now my record is 16-5, but you know, if you really ask me, I am gonna tell you 13-0 because I finished 13 of my fights and have never been finished."
Since the Thiago fight Kheder has kept very busy, amassing a 11-2 record leading up to his contract with Bellator. When asked what he thinks of Bellator's format, the fighter had nothing but praise. "I like the way they made the show. It's like basketball; we see them so everybody knows when the season is gonna start and you need to b e ready. It was a bit that way in judo; you start in September and stop in June. We have time to rest and some time to train hard to be ready for the competition. I like what they do, and I think they try to pick up the best guys that have not signed a contract with the UFC or Strikeforce. We have a lot of good guys in MMA that nobody knows."